COP28 | Tubuna urges world leaders to act with urgency

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Fiji’s Assistant Minister for Environment Sakiusa Tubuna addresses the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) High-Level SIDS Event at COP28, organised by UN Climate Change. Picture: FIJI GOVERNMENT

Fiji’s Assistant Minister for Environment Sakiusa Tubuna impressed on world leaders in attendance at the COP28 in Dubai that they must take bold steps to secure the survival and prosperity of island nations and its people.

And he said that adaptation could not wait and that the time for action was now.

Mr Tubuna made the comments when he addressed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) High-Level SIDS Event at COP28, organised by UN Climate Change.

He said to achieve the goals for adaptation at both the national and regional levels, “we need to carefully consider the specific circumstances that distinguish our nations”.

“The complex and varying ecological, social, and economic landscapes of our region demand tailored strategies that are both contextually relevant and grounded in a comprehensive understanding of our vulnerabilities,” Mr Tubuna was quoted as saying in a Government statement.

“We must act with urgency and clarity to address these challenges head-on.”

He said it was important to strengthen regional partnerships through a commitment to secure necessary funding mechanisms and technical support.

“The milestone decision taken at the opening of COP28 to move the Loss and Damage Fund established at COP27 to an operational entity is a significant step.”

He said despite those efforts, global emissions had continued to rise, emphasising the urgent need to address issues related to loss and damage.

“The Pacific has been a central voice in the call for new and additional financing to address loss and damage – because we are all too familiar with the realities of loss and damage.

“The new board of the Loss and Damage Fund must lay the groundwork for responsive, nationally determined, and context-relevant approaches to addressing loss and damage.”

He added that for finance to address loss and damage effectively, it must be deployed through national systems and incentivise the development of robust long-term national arrangements to manage loss and damage over time.

“This COP must also deliver on the broader package of climate financing needs.

“The $100billion a year target for climate finance, which was pledged a decade ago and was due by 2020, was not met. This was an achievable goal, and the failure to reach it in timely fashion only increases aggregate financing needs, gaps, and deficits.”

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